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Saturday, July 7, 2012
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It's part of int'l conspiracy

Ministers slam HR Watch report on BDR trial, Rab, human rights violation

Describing the Human Rights Watch report on rights violation as "totally false, baseless and imaginary," the government has said the rights body made the allegations as part of an international conspiracy.

In a statement, the home ministry yesterday demanded that the HRW withdraw the report that called upon the government to immediately halt the February 2009 BDR mutiny trial and disband the Rapid Action Battalion.

Meanwhile, three ministers in separate programmes on Thursday and yesterday said the HRW report amounted to "interference in the internal affairs of the country".

On July 4, the New York-based rights body in a report said the mass trial of the BDR mutiny suspects was fundamentally flawed and that the accused were subjected to gross human rights violations.

It also demanded that the government form a special independent commission to investigate the custodial deaths and torture of BDR (now BGB) soldiers and take action against human rights violations by the members of Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) and other intelligence agencies.

Two days after, the home ministry in its official reaction said, "The government hopes the Human Rights Watch will withdraw its report and remarks so that those responsible for the heinous murder of 74 people, including 57 army officers, can be punished through a fair trial."

The mutiny trial is being hold in a “fair and transparent manner” under the existing law of the country and the accused are enjoying all types of legal support, including rights to appoint lawyers to defend themselves, the ministry said.

It also termed "totally baseless" the HRW allegations that the accused mutineers were abused and tortured by the Rab, saying that the elite force was not involved in any process of the trial, including investigation.

Meanwhile, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed on Thursday said “We reject this report right away…it's false and baseless…. This is meddling in the internal affairs of a country.”

After a meeting with a three-member HRW delegation led by its Asia Executive Director Brad Adams at the ministry, Shafique said no non-government organisation can make any remark on the internal matter of any county, reports UNB.

“We believe in the rule of law and urged them [the delegation] not to release such reports in future,” the minister was quoted by the UNB.

On the HRW's suggestion to disband Rab, Shafique said, “It's completely our own affairs whether we'll continue Rab or disband it.”

There is no miscarriage of law in holding the war crimes and the BDR mutiny trials, he added.

Asked about his discussion with the delegation, Shafique said he had been able to explain the real situation to the HRW members as they had no clear idea about many things. “They made this report because of their lack of knowledge about many things in Bangladesh.”

Also on Thursday, Home Minister Shahara Khatun termed the HRW report an "intervention" and said, “Such interference by the Human Rights Watch was not fair.”

The government and the people of the country hail Rab for its role in checking militancy and criminal activities, said Shahara at a police programme in the capital.

Yesterday, Suranjit Sengupta, minister without portfolio, said the HRW report was “mischievous and an intervention in the internal matter of a country”.

Addressing a discussion organised by Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote in the capital's Public Library, Suranjit said the BNP-led government had formed the Rab and the US had trained the elite force.

“The Human Rights Watch has all of a sudden called upon the government to disband Rab. Who has given them [HRW] the right to raise such a demand,” said the veteran leader of the ruling Awami League.

It was for the government to decide whether or not to disband Rab, he noted and hoped the rights body would maintain internationally recognised norms in making comments in future.

Rab and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) also criticised the HRW report.

It may be mentioned that a Dhaka court is holding trial of over 800 border force jawans and 23 civilians on charges of killing, arson, theft, looting, disposing bodies by dumping or burying in mass graves during the February 25-26, 2009 mayhem at Pilkhana in the capital.

On mutiny charges, about 4,000 BDR members have so far been sentenced to different terms in jail ranging from three months to seven years by special courts. Trial of some 2,000 jawans on similar charges is going on in four special courts set up at the BGB headquarters.

According to the HRW report, at least 47 detained border force members died in custody. Some of them might have died of natural causes but others succumbed to custodial torture, said Brad Adams, executive director of HRW in Asia.

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When a government starts to see conspiracy everywhere instead of facts it seems obvious that they are losing the way to govern the country. Right now the government is in real trouble from every possible corners.

: Hasan Tareque

Our leaders, as history suggests, will always find people beside them to fight against international conspiracies, if there are really any.

The point that confuses people about the government's claim on international conspiracy theory is that how far people should trust the government when it has overlooked the corruptions of its acting ministers, party men and officials in chairs so grossly. Therefore, the government should, before expecting people to be united beside her, prove its stand against corruption by punishing the already proven corrupted ministers, party men, officials and others.

: Md. Russell Talukder

Comments

  • Anonymous
    Saturday, July 7, 2012 12:33 AM GMT+06:00 (105 weeks ago)

    Whether the minister admits or not (will generally agree), there is violation of human rights in many areas. The BDR revolt was engineered by the AL government to weed out the Islamic-minded members of the BDR and to eliminate the high ranking officers of the army to retaliate the killing of Sheikh Mujib. Cleaning operation is going on everywhere.

    People are watching everything that are happening.

  • Sengupta, Canada
    Saturday, July 7, 2012 12:07 AM GMT+06:00 (105 weeks ago)

    When Human Rights at Guantanomo Bay, in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere were violated, where were HRW and like minded organisations?

    It's not hard to understand that why such issue at this moment, why not at the beginning of the mutiny trail?

  • Mahboob Hossain
    Saturday, July 7, 2012 12:34 AM GMT+06:00 (105 weeks ago)

    Report of the Human right watch is based on fact. Our home ministry is lying to hide its criminal activities. This government wants to remain in power at any cost.

  • Mohammad Zaman
    Saturday, July 7, 2012 01:24 AM GMT+06:00 (105 weeks ago)

    Are we suffering from some national (better to say AWAMI) paranoia? Why in the world, everybody is busy conspiring against Bangladesh. Are they our enemy?

    If everyone starts conspiring against us, we better look at our own deeds and misdeeds (if any ... ha ha )

  • Bideshi
    Saturday, July 7, 2012 02:55 AM GMT+06:00 (105 weeks ago)

    The people of Bangladesh, most of them, are wonderful, resilient, friendly, hard-working, but the present government as well as the leading opposition is not what this country deserves. Political gangsters have taken the whole country hostage. Before next general election military will take over. Good news? Well, political situation will not get worse. But: This coup d'état will not strengthen political culture. Civil society is frightened because of the government pressure but only civil society can bring about the needed change.

  • Jumana Sarwar
    Saturday, July 7, 2012 12:54 AM GMT+06:00 (105 weeks ago)

    Can you guys tell why the international community is making conspiracy against the current administration?

  • Shatyabadi
    Saturday, July 7, 2012 03:57 AM GMT+06:00 (105 weeks ago)

    Our government and their spokesperson, and the Prime Minister are out thrashing a report by the Human Rights Watch. They think the World Bank is malicious in cancelling the Padma Bridge prorject for corruption. They think repeated writings of the Economis Magazine on the deteriorating situation in Bangladesh is unfair and wrong. The fact is our government is in denial and they won't listen good advise. These are usually signs of autocracy or dictatorship not of elected democracy. It may be too late by the time they listen.

  • Sami
    Saturday, July 7, 2012 05:15 AM GMT+06:00 (105 weeks ago)

    HRW should also first explore and comment on the gross human rights violation in Iraq and Afghanistan by Coalition and Nato forces. Thousands have been murdered there-most of them civilians and children!

  • Shimul
    Saturday, July 7, 2012 06:52 AM GMT+06:00 (105 weeks ago)

    Let us organise our country and eradicate corruption before blaming others. We do not know if there is any ill motive behind World Bank's or Human Rights Watch's report. What we know is, one minister after another are being given clean certificates even after credible proof of huge corruption involving them. Transferring to another ministry or changing the status to minister without-portfolio is laughable and simply not enough to discipline them. They should be punished so that others get lessons.

  • nds
    Saturday, July 7, 2012 07:43 AM GMT+06:00 (105 weeks ago)

    We are getting sandwiched between International and domestic conspiracy.

    Who will take the responsibility to unearth the conspiracy and give us security?

  • Dewan Islam
    Saturday, July 7, 2012 09:02 AM GMT+06:00 (105 weeks ago)

    The government is allergic to criticism. The party finds ghosts of foreign conspiracy in all reports that go against their favour. Tradition of torture, maltreatment are rampant in police, BDR is age old. How can things improve unless the party is willing to accent that not all things are good.

  • tajel
    Saturday, July 7, 2012 09:51 AM GMT+06:00 (105 weeks ago)

    It's fun to be heard some humorous clichés from our lawmakers... they always try to condemn others but they are just blind to notice their own fault. Courtesy begets from home and conspiracy starts from here

  • Abu Rayhan
    Saturday, July 7, 2012 10:08 AM GMT+06:00 (105 weeks ago)

    It's understandable that while preparing its report any rights body will keep in mind the interests of its donors. HRW bluntly advised about stopping the BDR mutiny mass trial and to disband RAB. However, it didn't mention anything in the report about what to do with the mutineers or what could be done to make the trial more transparent or even how the February 2009 mutiny in the border guard should be investigated. Regarding RAB, the report didn't say anything about a appropriate substitute for the elite force or how best to enhance the efficiency of RAB thus establishing transparency in the force's conduct and consequently reducing the incidents of rights violation in the hand of the elite force. RAB does have its good records also. Any report, focused on the tendency of accusation, which does not suggests remedial measure is generally regarded as ill-motivated, partial and malicious. On the other hand, the government has to remain mindful of its responsibility to establish transparency and accountability in the conduct of operations of the country's security agencies in the eyes of the countrymen also the outside world. Issuing counter statements is not enough rather the authorities has to show that they are working hard to reduce incidents of rights violations and that their words are being followed by practical actions.

  • Zia Ahmed
    Saturday, July 7, 2012 10:09 AM GMT+06:00 (105 weeks ago)

    Why doesn't Human Rights Watch protest the killings of Bangladeshi people by Indian BSF at our borders? It is obvious that these HR bodies are being promoted for political purposes by unknown quarter.

  • Sakib
    Saturday, July 7, 2012 11:03 AM GMT+06:00 (105 weeks ago)

    Now Awami League has three oppositions...BNP, HUMAN RIGHT WATCH AND WORLD BANK.

  • M. K. Alam
    Saturday, July 7, 2012 11:54 AM GMT+06:00 (105 weeks ago)

    Now a days any report whether national or international if goes against the government, it is termed as conspiracy against the government. Everyone in the government machinery from top to bottom speaks or rebukes in the same language to prove those report as conspiracy. Is it a democratic government? I think without turning down the reports outright and terming them as conspiracy against the government, we should vigorously enquire deep into matter and see whether those are actually a fact or a real conspiracy against the government. When we can prove them as conspiracy, people will accept positively.

  • Jerry
    Saturday, July 7, 2012 11:55 AM GMT+06:00 (105 weeks ago)

    Can someone tell me who the government thinks is conspiring against Bangladesh? It is a poor country and has lots of problems. The world wants to help us. So who are the conspirators?

  • md emdadul hoque
    Saturday, July 7, 2012 12:09 PM GMT+06:00 (105 weeks ago)

    I think the HRW report is not conspiracy against Bangladesh. It is real fact at present. But our blind government rejected the report because it is not in favour of the government. So they should take it seriously and need to take action according to their report. Do not neglect it...

  • Fida Likhon
    Saturday, July 7, 2012 02:01 PM GMT+06:00 (105 weeks ago)

    I can believe that HWR might exaggerate but something is true. So, government should not say that the report of HWR is completely false.

    I think when Rab is killing any criminal, people are happy. But Rab should be kept under pressure so that they do not show their muscle to any innocent person.

    Regarding BDR trial, I think that BDR trial is perhaps going on to satisfy the army. But there were many allegations against army that BDR angrily expressed during mutiny. Those allegations against army should also be taken seriously to punish the responsible army personnels.


 

 


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